Guadeloupe: Return to Paradise

January 10, 2017

The Caribbean island of Guadeloupe has left a butterfly-shaped hole in our hearts!

Craving the sun (and some rum), a short 10 months after our first visit, we journeyed back to the incredible island of Guadeloupe!

If you have ever experience Europe in winter, you will understand what it means to visit a warmer location to break up those long cold months.

This time we set off on a 2 week trip to this quaint, and now familiar, island. There is something comforting and confidence-building in returning to a place that you have visited before. After each visit, it feels a little like home. We know the roads and recognise the beaches or locals that call this paradise home.

Last visit, there was so much left that we still wanted to see or do. 6 days was simply not long enough, and so 2 weeks felt like a very welcome opportunity. This time we were going to do EVERYTHING that we didn’t manage to do during our first visit, and more!

During our visit in February, we mentioned that we had experienced our first “baptême de plongée” with PPK in Bouillante. This, in short, is a supervised 20-minute scuba experience. The “baptee” can submerge to no deeper than 6 meters, and remains constantly “attached” to a professional instructor for the duration of the “dive”.

Scuba-diving is not for everyone, especially a semi-anxious, claustrophobe like Robyn. But, after the passing of her childhood friend and fellow traveller, Andy Carrie, she vowed to #livelikeAndy and conquer her fears.

And so we proceeded to spend the first half of our trip on Plage de Malendure; acquiring our International Diving Licenses (Niveau 1), gorging on Bokit’s and Nutella filled crêpes, and tanning to an enviable shade of bronze.

Plage de Malendure.

After a week of back-rolling off of boats, ear equalising and swimming alongside the beautiful sea creatures of the Caribbean, we headed off to Trois-Rivières. This black sand beach is located across from the famous restaurant Les Cocotiers, a Créole-style buffet à volonté, which we had heard about from a local during our previous visit.

Grande Anse, Trois-Rivières.

After a day of strolling the black sands of La Grande Anse in Trois-Rivières, we set off to find our next accommodation. Atop a steep incline, we arrived at Racines é Zel. This guesthouse is owned by the lovely Michel and Bruno, who had a dream of sharing their beautiful island with visitors, and built a family-run BnB to reflect that.

Racines é Zel, Vieux-Fort.

With a good nights rest, and after a delicious homemade breakfast prepared by Michel, we caught a ferry to the (even littler) island of Les Saintes.

Visiting Les Saintes has become a sort of ritual for us. Perhaps because it feels like a step further away from civilisation, and leap toward nature. Luckily for us, during this day-visit, there was no rain! And so we were free to explore the island by scooter and snorkel to our heart’s content.

Les Saintes.

From one little island to the next!

A 100% must-do, when visiting Guadeloupe, is to catch a ferry or rent a dingy in Saint-François, and spend a day on Petit Terre. The name translates as “Little Earth”, and it is honestly like discovering a new frontier. This tiny reserve is a protected area, and only a limited number of people can visit in a single day. So please remember to book your passage with a responsible vendor, and respect this natural gem!

During the day we were visited by a few friendly Iguana’s, and we swam with several turtles, a massive barracuda, a baby stingray, a leopard stingray, and some adolescent lemon sharks.

Petite Terre.

After a full day of adventuring on Petit Terre, we stopped off to watch the sunset from St François, one of the most Eastern points on the island. The view was nothing short of breathtaking.

This was the perfect moment of calm and reflection after an action-packed day.

La Pointe des Chateaux, Saint-François.

During our first visit to Guadeloupe, we fell in love with Deshaies. A quaint fisherman’s village with an exotic flair. La Grande Anse in Deshaies is like something out of a tropical dream! Its sand is so clean that it squeaks, and the water is so calm that you can happily float around all day.

So to sum it all up: 3 days of sun, snorkelling, reading, tanning, eating multiple meals at the delicious Le Poisson Rouge, and just enjoying each others company, was the perfect end to our holiday.

Grande Anse, Deshaies.

Trip tip:

Consider renting a room from a local during an island stay. Local islanders are super friendly and offer amazing secrets to the best restaurants. They might even be chummy with local vendors and can get you great deals on excursions!

Get inspired to plan your next trip by viewing our Landscapes Gallery.

Have you ever visited Guadeloupe? Let us know what you thought of the island in our comments section!